When did you first become a Sabres fan? What inspired you? Who were the players, and what was the energy like at the time that you fell for the team? If you happen to be a sucker for their formative first years, ’70-75, then you’re in luck because the Buffalo History Museum has got an exhibit called Forging a Connection that you will want to check out.
“The Buffalo Sabres have become part of the fabric of Western New York, Forging a Connection will bring the early years of the franchise to life for fans. It will give fans of all ages the opportunity to relive wonderful memories and pass on the history of the team to younger fans.” stated, Joe Gambacorta, Founder and President of Buffalo Hockey Experience + Museum (BHE+M).
Highlights include Tim Horton’s #2 jersey worn during his final home game in Buffalo, Gerry Meehan’s #15 sweater from when he scored the winning goal with .04 seconds left to knock the Flyers out of the ’72 playoffs, and goalie Roger Crozier’s jersey from the game six loss to Philadelphia in the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals. Other artifacts on display feature newspaper headlines, team photos, game sticks, Game Day program, Inaugural Season Wilkerson Sword…
The memorabilia exhibited at the museum will be on temporary loan by the Buffalo Hockey Experience + Museum. Wouldn’t it be great to see the entire collection on permanent display at HARBORCenter? While it’s great that some key artifacts are being brought out for public display, this is the sort of collection that would draw fans by the hundreds to a center that is already being dedicated to the Sabres and their fans.
The exhibit opens February 21 and will run through May 25, 2014 at The Buffalo History Museum, located at 1 Museum Court at Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, NY. Forging a Connection exhibit opening is at 6 p.m.; admission is free.
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In honor of this new exhibit coming to the museum, we’ve added a heartfelt essay on the Sabres by fan Derek Neuland that describes a certain devotion to the team regardless of their standings… always in hopes that through diehard perseverance we might one day lay claim to the Holy Grail of hockey. From Derek (originally posted here):
April 24th, 1993. It may not have been my first hockey game, but it’s the first one I remember. While I didn’t realize it was made famous by Rick Jeanneret’s “May Day” call until years later, I do remember being in love with the excitement after the Buffalo Sabres beat the Boston Bruins in overtime to advance in the playoffs.
That energy and excitement is what has kept my love for hockey and the Buffalo Sabres alive for the last 20 years. While that love hasn’t been consistently strong year to year, I have never missed a chance to go to see my hometown team play live. This year I even did something I had never done before, I went to a game by myself. It was a really great experience and it allowed me to soak in all the history and all the memories I have with the team (see photos below).
The Sabres may not be known for being consistently good (they are last in the league as I write this), but anyone who has ever been to a home game will tell you that the fans are some of the best around. That is the Buffalo spirit, no matter how bad it is you still support those who you love. Whether that means driving in a blizzard to make sure your family who lost power has food, or rooting for your hometown team despite never winning the Stanley Cup. I still get “No Goal” phantom pains when I watch them play the Dallas Stars.
As long as they keep playing with all their heart, I will keep rooting for the Buffalo Sabres. Maybe they will bring the cup to Buffalo, we’ll just have to wait and see.